Raloxifene is a medication prescribed by most doctors for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and those on glucocorticoids. Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the quality and the density of bone are reduced. As a result, the bones become more fragile and more likely to break from a fall or in serious cases, from minor bumps or sneezing.
It was also approved for medical used in 2007 for reducing the risk of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis from the risk of invasive cancer and postmenopausal women at high risk of invasive breast cancer. However, this drug is not a breast cancer treatment drug. It can only help prevent cases of invasive estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Raloxifene will not treat hereditary breast cancer due to genetic mutations nor can it prevent cancer from coming back.
Raloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulators or SERMs. SERMs are synthetic molecules that interfere with the receptors that receive estrogen molecules. Depending on the tissue, it can either enhance or block the effect of estrogen. It works by mimicking the effects of estrogen in the body to increase bone density. Estrogen is the main female sex hormone with many functions. Bone, breast and uterine tissue; cholesterol metabolism are all affected by this hormone. During the menopausal period, estrogen hormone starts to decrease and this affects the tissues that are normally responsive to estrogen. A continues declination of estrogen results in an increased breakdown of bone which can lead to a decreased bone density. Raloxifene reverses the excessive breakdown of the bone during the menopausal period and causes an increase in bone density.
Raloxifene was approved for medical use in the U.S since 1997. This medication helps manage and prevent osteoporosis and can significantly reduce the risk of a spinal fracture. It’s available as generic and brand names in the market and is one of the most prescribed medications in the United States. Unlike other osteoporosis medication, Raloxifene causes few cases of deep vein thrombosis, endometrial cancer, pulmonary embolism, and cataract.
Raloxifene comes in a tablet form for you to take by mouth. Take this exactly as directed by your physician. The typical recommended dose is 60 mg tablet once a day. You can take it any time of the day with or without meals. Take it at the same time each day. Do not take more or less than what is recommended to you. Continue taking this even if you feel well. Do not stop taking your medication without informing your physician.
For the treatment or management of osteoporosis, supplemental vitamin D or calcium is needed for the diet. Women who are at a postmenopausal stage require an average of 1500mg/day of elemental calcium.
Raloxifene can affect you in unwanted ways. Although it can help you manage and prevent bone breakdown or help prevent invasive breast cancer, taking them can also lead to joint pain, dizziness, leg cramps, sinus problems, hot flashes, and vomiting. These side effects are just mild. Serious side effects are also possible. If you experience any of the following serious side effects, contact your doctor right away:
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